ContraVir Pharma (CTRV) Slumps After Presenting Positive Hep B Data

ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CTRV) is trading sharply lower this afternoon, despite spiking nearly 14 percent higher during today’s pre-market session after the company announced upbeat data regarding its hepatitis B therapy. At the time of writing in late-afternoon trading, ContraVir is down 11 cents to $1.50 – a seven percent drop.

The biopharmaceutical developer’s stock is also trading on heavier-than-normal volume, with more than 4.3 million shares of the company already exchanged today. On an average trading day, only about 609,000 shares of ContraVir change hands.

Today at the European Association for the Study of the Liver’s International Liver Congress, which is being held in Amsterdam, ContraVir presented the data from its patented liver-targeting prodrug – tenofovir exalidex (TXL). The product works alongside the widely-used hepatitis B drug tenofovir.

The product was designed to offer the same or improved HBV viral load reductions with a lower dosing option than a hepatitis B prodrug already available – and has proven to work more effectively in two previously-completed clinical trials.

“We now have clinical evidence that demonstrates 25 – 100 mg of TXL achieves viral load reductions that are similar to Viread that is dosed at 300 mg. These reductions in viral load were accomplished with our first-generation formulation,” said the company’s Chief Execuitve Officer, James Sapirstein. “We continue to enhance TXL™ by optimizing this first-generation product to further enhance drug delivery.”

Sapirstein is confident that the second-generation formulation will provide comparable declines in viral load – but with a lower dose than the ones used in the study presented today.

The author of this article holds no position in any of the companies mentioned above.

Tim is a contributing analyst for and specializes in equities trading and public offerings. He is a graduate of UCLA and began his career doing capital markets research for a top investment banking software provider.